Lutoslawski’s Films 17 March 2015 8.00pm Screening Room, Media Building, Keele University
A rare screening of short films with music by Witold Lutoslawski, Poland’s most important twentieth-century composer. Suita Warszawska (Warsaw Suite, 1946) and Odra do Baltyku (Along the Oder to the Baltic, 1946) are documentaries exploring the post-World War II regeneration of Poland. Odra do Baltyku traces the trade route along the River Oder to the Baltic port of Szczecin. It also clarified, for propaganda purposes, Poland’s new western border with the then East Germany and Czechoslovakia. Lutoslawsi’s music does battle with a propagandist narration. Equally fascinating, Suita Warszawska is a far more satisfying film, documenting the devastation of Warsaw by the Nazis and the tentative beginnings of its reconstruction. In the absence of an official voiceover, Lutoslawski’s score narrates the tragic situation and struggle of Poles to rebuild their capital, with powerful and poignant fusions of music and the moving image.
The films are being screened as part of Lutoslawski’s Worlds, Dr Nicholas Reyland’s Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Early Career Fellowship investigating the relationships between the composer’s life and music.